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This article is part of the supplement: Eighth International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2009): Bioinformatics

Open Access Proceedings

The implementation of e-learning tools to enhance undergraduate bioinformatics teaching and learning: a case study in the National University of Singapore

Shen Jean Lim1, Asif Mohammad Khan1, Mark De Silva2, Kuan Siong Lim2, Yongli Hu1, Chay Hoon Tan34 and Tin Wee Tan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 8 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597

2 Life Sciences Institute, National University of Singapore, Centre for Life Sciences, 28 Medical Drive, Singapore 117456

3 Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543

4 Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597

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BMC Bioinformatics 2009, 10(Suppl 15):S12  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S15-S12

Published: 3 December 2009



The rapid advancement of computer and information technology in recent years has resulted in the rise of e-learning technologies to enhance and complement traditional classroom teaching in many fields, including bioinformatics. This paper records the experience of implementing e-learning technology to support problem-based learning (PBL) in the teaching of two undergraduate bioinformatics classes in the National University of Singapore.


Survey results further established the efficiency and suitability of e-learning tools to supplement PBL in bioinformatics education. 63.16% of year three bioinformatics students showed a positive response regarding the usefulness of the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) e-learning tool in guiding the learning and discussion process involved in PBL and in enhancing the learning experience by breaking down PBL activities into a sequential workflow. On the other hand, 89.81% of year two bioinformatics students indicated that their revision process was positively impacted with the use of LAMS for guiding the learning process, while 60.19% agreed that the breakdown of activities into a sequential step-by-step workflow by LAMS enhances the learning experience


We show that e-learning tools are useful for supplementing PBL in bioinformatics education. The results suggest that it is feasible to develop and adopt e-learning tools to supplement a variety of instructional strategies in the future.